Illustration by Bob AulWith all the R&D money thrown around since World War II, the robot lawn mower was as inevitable as it was necessary. After all, could a society with smart bombs, paint that makes things invisible to radar, and the Miles Kimball catalog's spaghetti-twirling forks call itself a Great Society without a robot lawn mower?
It couldn't in good conscience—until now. Until the good folks at Waxahachie, Texas-based Surplus Technology Group did what scientists and Democrats were unable—or unwilling—to do: they brought you a robot mower, just in time for Christmas. They're the heroes here.
Throwing caution to the winds, they stepped in and bought a bankrupt robotics company's surplus inventory—thereby freeing your Latino gardener to attend classes at ITT Technical Institute and someday, God willing, become a manager of broadband operations. You must be so proud.
Now, I know what you're thinking: Did STG really do so much? They didn't invent the robot lawn mower—all they did was buy up that surplus inventory; they are, after all, the Surplus Technology Group. But aren't you itching to do exactly the same thing? It's Christmas, and this is capitalism. Let's not let ourselves get caught up in the details like a garden hose in a lawn mower reel.
This thing practically sells itself for $299.99 (formerly $399.99, and before that $899.99). It's pricey, perhaps, but once on the lawn, it's a model of simplicity worth every dollar. The mower is battery-powerred—quieter than its gasoline brethren—and it does its agrarian job like an oversized ant: trundling back and forth within a course you prescribe with the included markers and wire. String these up along the perimeter of your lot like a miniature fence, set the mower down inside, and watch it go. And watch your feet.
Unless, of course, you do the smart thing and delineate a small rectangle for your chaise lounge and a path to the door. The chaise lounge is for you, the Sunday New York Timescrossword puzzle, a Montblanc fountain pen 'cause you're smart enough to do the puzzle in pen, and a bottle of suntan lotion. The path is for your monkey butler and those frozen banana daiquiris he keeps bringing.
And the good life? Let's see: your Latino ex-gardener learns about computers, which are the future; you're tanning in December because it's California; a robot is mowing your lawn; and a monkey is getting you drunk. You're living the good life.